Toni Braxton is amazing.
Another Sad Love Song (1993)
Toni didn’t just give us one music video. Not even two music videos. She gave us three music videos for one of her most iconic songs! The music video was released in three different versions. The first version was directed by Antoine Fuqua and filmed in 1992 in black-and-white and featured the original music. The second version was directed by Fuqua and Ralph Ziman and filmed in May 1993 and was shown in color with exterior scenes from the first version. The third version was remixed to appeal to a wider audiences and was primarily shown in Europe.
On her DVD, “From Toni with Love… The Video Collection”, two versions of the video are also featured: the “black and white” and the “colorful version.”
Breathe Again (1993)
The “Breathe Again” music video, directed by Randee St. Nicholas, was filmed in England and is set in black-and-white format. The concept was Braxton running through a maze, clearing her thoughts of a special kind of love. On her DVD, From Toni with Love… The Video Collection, two other versions of the video are also featured: the “European version” and the “Spanish version”. On the same DVD, Braxton commented about the video, saying, “This video was originally filmed in color and Randee St. Nicholas, the director, didn’t like the maze part, she said it looked like piles of dirt, instead of these beautiful green […], she said it looked like chunks of rock, so she put it in black and white.” About her look, she said, “I remember my stylist was going crazy, trying to find a 17th-century dress, and my hair was short, and I didn’t want to wear wigs and my stylist put these little extensions in my hair and It was so cold and the dress was so heavy.”
You’re Makin’ Me High (1996)
The Billie Woodruff directed music video showcased a sexier side of Toni that kicked off the new era of her sophomore album, Secrets. In the video, Braxton and a group of friends (consisting of actresses Erika Alexander, Vivica A. Fox, and Tisha Campbell-Martin) are enjoying themselves in luxurious surroundings as an elevator brings up a series of men, some very attractive and others amusingly unattractive. (If only it was that easy today!) Braxton and her friends “judge” the men using oversized playing cards as score cards. Periodically, one of the women chooses a man to leave with. Braxton chooses Bryce Wilson, whom she dated at the time, and they are shown together in a bathtub of cotton candy and on a dance floor. The music video also features Braxton wearing the now iconic white bodysuit as she dances in front of a bright blue backdrop.
Un-Break My Heart (1996)
“Un-Break My Heart” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for a record-breaking 11 weeks and quickly become Toni’s signature song. This music video is another visual masterpiece directed by Bille Woodruff and revolves around the ending of Braxton’s relationship with her lover, played by model Tyson Beckford. The video begins, Beckford is seen leaving their home, with Braxton giving him a goodbye kiss, then going to check the mailbox. After he leaves the garage, a fast car suddenly appears and causes an accident, leaving him lying on the street while Braxton cries over his body. She then walks around the house, remembering the good moments she had with him, such as swimming in the pool and playing Twister. There’s also scenes with Toni crying over the loss of her lover as she sings along to the heartfelt ballad. ALL THESE EMOTIONS, HONEY!
During the bridge and final chorus, Braxton is seen singing the song during a live concert, an allusion to the film “A Star is Born”. As applause rises, the video fades to black. The music video premiered on September 10, 1996 on MTV. ICONIC!
He Wasn’t Man Enough (2000)
Okay, now this video is my favorite Toni Braxton music video of all time, honey! The video which was directed by Bille Woodruff starts out with an animated superhero version of Braxton who unzips her shirt to ward off villains. Naturally. Cut to scenes of her looking perfect dancing in a red cylinder-like hallway and a sexy group choreography scene that features Toni dancing in a barely there metallic ensemble. It’s very early 2000’s, it’s perfect and we won’t apologize for it!
The shot turns to a club where her ex (portrayed by Braxton’s former husband Keri Lewis of R&B group Mint Condition) and his current wife (portrayed by Robin Givens) walk in. Givens looks Braxton up and down and flashes her wedding ring at her. Braxton scoffs because she’d had him first and knows what a cheat he is.
The video flashes between Braxton dancing in the hallway and the club scene. At one point, the two women are in the club’s bathroom, and Braxton lets the new wife know why she dumped her husband. They set up an act, wherein Braxton goes into a private room with him and gets him to drop his pants; all the while he is on camera, and everyone at the club, including his current wife, is watching. At the end, Givens busts in and throws the ring at him, and the two women give each other a high five.
The video also features cameo appearances by Rodney Chester and sister, Tamar Braxton. Originally, actor Michael Jai White was cast to play the role of the husband. However, he ended up dropping out before the video shoot, due to Givens allegedly taking issue with White’s resemblance to her former husband Mike Tyson, who White played in the HBO film Tyson five years earlier. He would make an appearance in another Braxton video a decade later, 2010’s “Hands Tied“.
Just Be A Man About It (2000)
The music video for “Just Be a Man About It”, directed by Bille Woodruff, opens with Braxton’s boyfriend (played by rapper Dr. Dre, who also provides additional vocals to the track) leaving a Hawthorne, California, strip club named Bare Elegance, accompanied by a woman. He stops at a payphone to call up Braxton, who is in their apartment. She looks happy at first, but as he tells her not to wait up for him that night alleging he needs space, her facial expression suddenly changes.
The following scenes show Braxton wandering about the apartment, talking on the phone, standing next to the balcony, lying on a couch, and throwing objects such as vases and a picture frame containing a photo of Dre. At one point, Dre hangs up on Braxton, which infuriates her. Toward the end of the video, a man (Q-Tip) shows up to visit Braxton; they hug each other and proceed to cuddle on the couch, much to Dre’s annoyance by the time he arrives home. When Dre questions Braxton about the man, she remains indifferent, causing him to give her the finger and leave.
Directed by Chris Robinson, the music video features Toni wearing different clothes and wigs and also features some choreographed scenes of her dancing with backup dancers.
So Yesterday (2008)
The Bille Woodruff directed music video features Trey Songz and premiered on The Wendy Williams Show on November 20, 2009. The video features singer Brooke Hogan as well as basketball players Shannon Brown and Ron Artest from the Los Angeles Lakers. The video tells the story about a woman (Braxton) who discovers that her boyfriend (Brown) is cheating on her with another woman (Hogan).
Hands Tied (2009)
A music video for “Hands Tied” was shot back-to-back with the video for fellow Pulse single “Make My Heart.” Directed by Bille Woodruff, it marked his eighth collaboration with Braxton. The video depicts Braxton as a “woman [who] is teasing a bar full of men who are mesmerized by her moves, but are not allowed to touch her,” performing a pole dancing tease while singing.
The Bille Woodruff music video features Toni in a sexy black and white setting as she sings into a microphone with different cityscapes playing on the backdrop behind her. It’s simple and elegant like Toni’s earlier music videos.
Long As I Live (2018)
This is one of my favorite Toni Braxton music videos. The video starts off with Toni looking gorgeous as she walks through the rain with a white umbrella and quickly turns into an elegant dance number like something out of a movie. It cuts to scenes of Toni dancing in two different black ensembles. The music video also features Braxton’s younger sisters, Towanda & Tamar Braxton. We love a good Braxton Family Values moment, honey!